New Technology Is Here To Save Your Impressions From Other Technology

Video supply-side platform (SSP) Altitude Digital has beefed up its platform with new technology that it says can recover “lost” impressions to resend them to demand-side partners.

The technology, which Altitude Digital is calling AIR (advanced impression recovery), monitors real-time data to find impressions that could be “lost” due to “inefficiencies” or “errors” as the impression moves down the chain, the company claims. I reached out to Altitude Digital to find out what these “inefficiencies” or “errors” look like and was directed to a piece the company's CEO Jeremy Ostermiller wrote for MediaPost’s Online Video Insiderlast month.

Ostermiller noted that many publishers utilize a video player that uses a “waterfall approach” to prioritize partners based on pricing and business priority.The publisher’s video player calls the first demand partner in the waterfall,” Ostermiller wrote. “The partner responds, but instead of delivering an ad creative, the demand partner creates another auction with additional partners further downstream. Those downstream partners may auction that impression yet again.”

Ostermiller added that publishers may lose impressions because the demand partner responds that there is no ad available, the process takes too long, or some other communication error occurs between systems, which he claimed is “common among both RTB and non-programmatic platforms.”

It's technical, nitty-gritty stuff, but this type of tech could be big for publishers that face these types of inventory problems. According to a release, AdKarma, a supply-side partner of Altitude Digital’s, has been using the “impression recovery” technology to the tune of a 43% increase in fill rate.

I have no reason to doubt that publishers using the tech see a boost in fill rate, but it does seem unlikely that an additional 40% of sale opportunities are lost to “errors” or “inefficiencies” for most. What, I asked, was to say that publishers weren't just doing a terrible job of managing fill rates beforehand?

An Altitude Digital representative acknowledged that the overall percentage of lost video impressions varies by publisher. However, filling video impressions programmatically is a "pretty common issue for publishers these days," the rep noted, which is why Altitude Digital created its impression recover technology. I was again pointed to Ostermiller’s previous article, in which he writes:  “…as the number of systems, auctions and partners increase, so does the probability for errors, timeouts and system failures.” Fair enough.

I can’t say for certain whether Altitude Digital’s “advanced impression recovery” technology is groundbreaking -- although it does sound cool -- but the announcement brings to light an interesting topic: “Real-time” advertising, by nature, can’t get a whole lot faster. Most of the proverbial pipes are now in place, so many upgrades to the marketplace will come in the form of patches, such as this one.

Of course, this is also a classic example of technology fixing technology’s own problems. At what point does it become technology just for technology’s sake?

"Lost sign" image via Shutterstock.

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